Celine Dion, a famous Canadian singer, has been diagnosed with Stiff Person Syndrome, SPS, an irreversible neurological disorder that causes her muscles to stiffen compulsively.
The progression of the illness causes the body to become stiff, eventually leaving victims as “human statues.” The affected person will be unable to move or speak.
On Thursday, the 54-year-old singer shared an emotional Instagram message with her fans, explaining how the uncommon ailment that only affects one in a million people has impacted her life in every way possible.
According to DailyMail, she has complained that the disease has made it difficult for her to move and has prevented her from singing as well as she once did.
As the disease progresses, it ultimately leaves sufferers as ‘human statues’ as it progressively locks the body into rigid positions. The sufferer will be unable to walk or talk.
The 54-year-old singer in a tearful Instagram post addressed to her fans on Thursday said the rare condition which affects one in a million has affected every daily aspect of her life.
She said it causes difficulty in her walking and affects her vocal cords, preventing her to sing as she used to, DailyMail reports.
She said in videos she did in English and French, “Hello everyone, I’m sorry it’s taken me so long to reach out to you. I miss you all so much and can’t wait to be on stage talking to you in person.
“As you know I’ve always been an open book and I wasn’t ready to say anything before but I’m ready now.
“I’ve been dealing with problems with my health for a long time and it’s been really difficult for me to face my challenges and to talk about everything that I’ve been going through.
“Recently I’ve been diagnosed with a very rare neurological disorder called the stiff person syndrome which affects something like 1 in a million people.
“While we’re still learning about this rare condition, we now know this is what’s been causing all the spasms I’ve been having. Unfortunately, these spasms affect every aspect of my daily life, sometimes causing difficulties when I walk and not allowing me to use my vocal cords to sing the way I’m used to.
“It hurts me to tell you today that this means I won’t be ready to restart my tour in Europe in February.
“I have a great team of doctors working alongside me to help me get better and my precious children who are supporting me and giving me help.
“I’m working hard with my sports medicine therapist every day to build back my strength and my ability to perform again but I have to admit it’s been a struggle.
“All I know is singing it’s what I’ve done all my life and it’s what I love to do the most.
“I miss you so much. I miss seeing all of you being on the stage performing for you.
“I always give 100 percent when I do my show but my condition is now allowing me to give you that right now.
“For me to reach you again I have no choice but to concentrate on my health at this moment and I have hope that I’m on the road to recovery.
“This is my focus and I’m doing everything I can to recuperate.
“I want to thank you so much for your wishes and love and support on my social media. This means a lot to me.
“Take care of yourselves. Be well. I love you guys so much and I really hope I can see you again real soon.”
Céline Dion postponed her March 9–April 22 North American tour dates in January.
She postponed the start of her return residency in Las Vegas three months early due to health concerns.
Earlier, her website stated, “Celine has recently been treated for severe and chronic muscular spasms which are keeping her from performing, and her recuperation is taking longer than she hoped.”
Her website earlier said, “Celine has ‘recently been treated for severe and persistent muscle spasms which are preventing her from performing, and her recovery is taking longer than she hoped.
“Her medical team continues to evaluate and treat the condition.”
Celine added: “I was really hoping that I’d be good to go by now, but I suppose I just have to be more patient and follow the regimen that my doctors are prescribing.
“There’s a lot of organizing and preparation that goes into our shows, and so we have to make decisions today which will affect the plans two months down the road. I’ll be so glad to get back to full health, as well as all of us getting past this pandemic, and I can’t wait to be back on stage again.
“Meanwhile, I’ve been very touched by all the words of encouragement that everyone’s been sending to me on social media. I feel your love and support and it means the world to me.”
The condition ultimately leaves sufferers as ‘human statues’ as it progressively locks the body into rigid positions, leaving people unable to walk or talk.
While there is no cure for SPS, there are treatments to slow down the progression, with Celine revealing she is doing all she can to minimise symptoms.
Celine’s SPS diagnosis is the latest tragedy to afflict her after her husband Rene Angelil died in 2016 at the age of 73.
Celine had three boys with her late husband – Rene-Charles, 21, and twins Nelson and Eddy, 12.
Rene had a fatal heart attack in January of 2016 when he was battling throat cancer. Celine’s brother Daniel passed away from throat cancer two days later.